News Article

Queensland fruit fly outbreak declared in Loxton North

Following fruit fly detections in surveillance traps, a new Queensland fruit fly outbreak has been declared in Loxton North.

The Loxton North outbreak restrictions will be in place until 29 November 2022.

Separate detections in existing suspension areas have also extended the outbreak end dates in Loxton until 29 November 2022, and Pike River West, Pike River and Renmark West until at least 28 November 2022, providing no further detections occur.

Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) General Manager of the Fruit Fly Response Nick Secomb said as we hit the peak time for fruit fly detections, extra measures are being deployed to respond to the Riverland fruit fly outbreaks.

“A new outbreak has been declared in Loxton North following the outbreak trigger of five male fruit fly detections in our surveillance traps,” Mr Secomb said.

“If you are a grower or resident with backyard fruit, I cannot stress enough, keep your gardens and orchards clean – pick up fallen fruit so it is not left on the ground to rot and become a breeding bed for fruit fly.

“April is historically the most prevalent time for fruit fly and maggot detections.”
For the first time since the Riverland fruit fly outbreaks began, a plane will be deployed to release millions of sterile fruit flies from next week in the latest tactic to fight the pest.

“In addition to the community playing their part, PIRSA will increase response tactics by releasing four million sterile fruit flies from the air each week over Loxton North,” Mr Secomb said.

“This is in addition to the millions of sterile flies that continue to be released from the ground as part of existing outbreak response measures.

“We have been releasing sterile fruit flies via vehicle and ground release in the Riverland as part of the eradication program and we are now building on this with aerial release to help reach larger properties with land far away from roads.

“Residents will see the plane, which is white with two propellers and red wing tips, flying over the Loxton North and surrounding areas to release sterile fruit flies.”

Pending weather conditions, the plane will appear every week until at least the end of May.

The sterile flies will mate with wild fruit flies and stop them reproducing.

Mr Secomb said PIRSA staff are in the new 1.5km Loxton North red outbreak area visiting the affected properties and restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables at risk from fruit fly are now in place.

“Our teams in orange overalls are contacting residents with information about what to do now they are in a red outbreak area, and will be regularly applying organic bait to suitable foliage in properties as well as checking fruit for signs of fruit fly.”

“Search your address on the map on the fruit fly website to check if you’re in a red outbreak area and how the movement restrictions affect you.

“If you are in a red outbreak area, please keep your fruit and vegetables on your property and don’t share, sell or give them away.

“These actions are an essential tactic, in combination with the work of our field teams, to protect South Australia’s $1.3 billion horticulture industry at risk from fruit fly and the tens of thousands of jobs it represents.”

Commercial fruit movement restrictions are in place for Loxton North, as well as the other existing outbreak areas in Loxton, Pike River West, Pike River and Renmark West, where all host material must be treated and certified before leaving an outbreak area. Growers can contact the Industry Hotline on 1800 255 556 for further advice and support.

Riverland Fruit Fly Committee Chair Jason Size urged all Riverland growers and residents to keep orchards and gardens clean.

“As a community, we need to help get rid of fruit fly in the Riverland. It’s having a massive effect on our local industries, and if we can’t get on top of it, we risk losing local jobs and there will be flow on effects to our local economy,” said Mr Size.

“Please, help prevent fruit fly – keep orchards and gardens clean, and don’t leave fruit on the ground to rot.

“Pick it up, put it in your green bin or seal it in a bag and call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 for advice – don’t compost or bury it.

“There are extensive measures in place to ensure growers can maintain market access by keeping the region fruit fly free.

“But this relies on us, as a community, to prevent opportunities for fruit flies to breed and spread.

“The metropolitan Adelaide fruit fly response recently came to an end with 12 outbreaks eradicated after a two-year successful eradication program.

“We are determined to get there with the Riverland outbreaks and with PIRSA’s support, we will achieve successful eradication, but we need everyone to do their bit.”

If you are a primary producer affected by the fruit fly outbreaks and you’re feeling overwhelmed, please seek free advice and support via the Family and Business Support program on 1800 931 314 or visit
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